Apple lifts mask mandate for corporate employees

Posted:
in General Discussion
Workers at Apple's corporate locations will now get to choose whether or not they wear a face mask when at the office.




Apple has alerted employees that it is dropping its mask mandate "in light of certain circumstances."

The email, which was obtained by The Verge, notes that the requirement is being dropped at "most locations." It does not disclose which locations still require employees to wear masks.

"Don't hesitate to continue wearing a face mask if you feel more comfortable doing so," the email states. "Also, please respect every individual's decision to wear a mask or not."

Apple dropped its mask mandate for corporate and retail in March when COVID-19 cases were on the downward trend.

However, in May, Apple reinstated the mask mandate for both corporate and retail employees when COVID-19 cases were on the rise again.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    bonobobbonobob Posts: 342member
    So will Apple respect employees’ desires to work in a masked environment, or work from home if that’s not possible at their location?
    grandact739secondkox2
  • Reply 2 of 10
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,413member
    bonobob said:
    So will Apple respect employees’ desires to work in a masked environment, or work from home if that’s not possible at their location?
    Working from home full time is not realistic for the majority of Apple employees. If that is what they need, a secretive hardware based innovation dependent company like Apple is probably not a good fit for them. 
    mpantonelkrupp9secondkox2
  • Reply 3 of 10
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,057member
    genovelle said:
    bonobob said:
    So will Apple respect employees’ desires to work in a masked environment, or work from home if that’s not possible at their location?
    Working from home full time is not realistic for the majority of Apple employees. If that is what they need, a secretive hardware based innovation dependent company like Apple is probably not a good fit for them. 
    I agree. Sometimes the only place to work for certain employees is at the company's building where everything is located. It doesn't work to try and outfit every employee's house with enough corporate hardware to allow them to do everything.
    9secondkox2
  • Reply 4 of 10
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,057member
    bonobob said:
    So will Apple respect employees’ desires to work in a masked environment, or work from home if that’s not possible at their location?
    I'm sure Apple will allow employees to wear masks while at Apple's headquarters but working from home will only work for certain job types. 

    With the continuous flow of new strains of COVID and with boosters coming out on a regular basis (just like flu shots), I believe we're just going to have to live with COVID, booster shots and getting COVID. I haven't gotten it but people I know who wear masks and distance themselves are finally getting it but with boosters they're dealing with it like having a cold or flu. 
    9secondkox2
  • Reply 5 of 10
    jimdreamworxjimdreamworx Posts: 1,090member
    In a circular building, I wonder if all walking traffic will be one way.   :D
    fred1
  • Reply 6 of 10
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,931member
    rob53 said:
    genovelle said:
    bonobob said:
    So will Apple respect employees’ desires to work in a masked environment, or work from home if that’s not possible at their location?
    Working from home full time is not realistic for the majority of Apple employees. If that is what they need, a secretive hardware based innovation dependent company like Apple is probably not a good fit for them. 
    I agree. Sometimes the only place to work for certain employees is at the company's building where everything is located. It doesn't work to try and outfit every employee's house with enough corporate hardware to allow them to do everything.
    It has little to do with allocating hardware for employees' homes.

    Apple has repeatedly stated at the highest level that in person, face-to-face collaboration is vital to creativity and the company's success.

    Remember that most Apple employees don't need access to high-security labs or super-expensive test equipment.

    Even from Day 1 of the initial shelter-in-place order by the Santa Clara County Public Health Officer (back in March 2020), there were explicitly stated exceptions made for on-site access for mission critical tasks. If you need access to a high-security lab filled with prototype models and specialized testing equipment, you could be there by the SCC DPH regulations. Even an admin could periodically show up at a brokerage office to collect snail mail, pick up forms, etc.
    edited August 2 ronn
  • Reply 7 of 10
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,931member
    Yes, yes, physical distancing, not social distancing, an easy error to make on a Q&A forum where I don't have a copy editor to proof my writing.

    At least here in California, no mask mandates were legislated. Public health is up to the individual counties and these weren't legislated either. Broad decision making authority is given to the public health officer. It was Dr. Sara Cody who decided on the mask mandate not any legislators in Santa Clara County.

    As for the efficacy of masks for respiratory viruses, I believe you'll find Dr. Bob Wachter, chair of the UCSF School of Medicine to disagree with your stance.

    As for comparing Africa to Asia, that's pretty ludicrous based on a large number of factors, not the least being the prevalence of testing. However if you compare an industrialized nation like South Korea or Japan against the USA, UK, Germany, or Canada, it's pretty surprising how low their death rates were compared to Western industrialized nations.

    But anyhow, getting back to the original discussion, it's curious the Apple management lifted their self-imposed office mask mandate with just a cryptic "in light of certain circumstances" without explaining what those circumstances are.

    Santa Clara County still has high positive test rates and local (SF Bay Area) infectious disease experts believe the actual infection rate to be perhaps 5x what lab results indicate because lab testing has declined over the past six months. Community transmission is still very high when looking at wastewater analysis at the four water treatment systems in Santa Clara County.

    Naturally, quite a few of Apple employees commute from other SF Bay Area counties; the neighboring counties' results have been remarkable similar to Santa Clara County throughout the duration of the pandemic.

    I doubt anyone sane expected people to be wearing masks forever and in fact in many places in the USA, people pretty much returned to pre-pandemic work behavior months ago.

    Apple -- like Santa Clara County -- has been on the very cautious side of the COVID-19 response curve so it is particularly curious what prompted Apple management to discontinue their mask mandate.
    edited August 2
  • Reply 8 of 10
    LeoMCLeoMC Posts: 84member
    @mpantone ;
    in California, no mask mandates were legislated
    Really?!
    Masks are no longer required indoors in California” this is a quote from ca dot gov.

    you'll find Dr. Bob Wachter,
    I don't give a rat's a$$ what some dude is saying about masks, I only care about evidence and evidences about efficacy are not there.

    As for comparing ... that's pretty ludicrous based on a large number of factors
    Oh, but comparing America or Europe with Asia is ok... I see; is it because in America, Europe and Asia we all have the same race, the same sex, the same age and we all live in identical societies?
    Let's compare the real death toll (deaths due to Covid) which is, according to a study in GB, no more than 10% of what's been reported, or 6% in US (the rest being due to measures - like masking - taken by administrations or silly people).
    Let me give you an example of country that never had a mask mandate and practically nobody there ever wore a mask: Sweden - it's reported death rate is almost half of that in US (

    I doubt anyone sane expected people to be wearing masks forever
    You're saying you're not sane? I ask that, because I've seen you advocating Asians results and you should know that (some) Asians are wearing masks all the time since... forever.

    Apple -- like Santa Clara County -- has been on the very cautious side
    Apple, like anybody else (almost - Tesla is an exception), has been acting stupid and I'm glad to see them coming to their senses (I just hope they will fight back on any other attempt to institute such a useless obligation in the future).
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 9 of 10

    It's been like this with every policy change this pandemic.

    I think people just have to accept that different people have different risk tolerances and that the best solution to this is to just let people wear an N95 mask if they're at risk or are worried, rather than mandating masks for all.

    I'm fully vaccinated and masked up religiously through 2020 and most of 2021, but at this point I'm ready to rejoin normal life.

  • Reply 10 of 10
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 1,468member
    People need to get back to work or lose their jobs. If. they want to wear a mask, fine. But don't try to dictate to your employer or coworkers.
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